Monday, November 03, 2008

Lewis Hamilton Wins World Championship

Fantastic! Probably one of the most exciting races that I have witness. The world championship literally came down to the last corner.


So close that at the finish, both Ferrari (Massa) and McLaren-Mercedes (Hamilton) were celebrating at the same time....

With less than five laps to go, Massa was leading, and Lewis was comfortably in fourth (he needed to finish fifth or better to clinch). A hard charging Vettel was behind him, but there was no reason to fight and chance a spin, because fifth would still get the WC and Kovalainen, his teammate was in sixth. There is no way that Kovi would pass him.

Then it rained.

Oh boy, this could be bad for all players. Luckily for Massa it didn't seem to rain too hard, he was able to circle around and trade his drys for wets without relinquishing the lead. Hamilton was not so lucky. Because the rain was light Timo Glock in the Toyota chanced it and stayed out on dry tires, Leap-frogging quite a few places while everyone (including Lewis) pitted for wets.

No problem yet.

Lewis exited the pits in fifth place with Vettel right on his tail. The WC was still his on the track. Then, out of nowhere Robert Kubica in his BMW caught up to the two drivers like he had an extra gear. I would guess that as rain was threatened all weekend BMW took a chance and set their cars up for it. He blew by Vettel and when he took Lewis, he forced him wide, leaving Vettel the opportunity to get by as well... With two laps to go!!! Hamilton, now in sixth, was going to lose the WC to Massa. I couldn't believe it, how could this happen to him two years in a row. Lewis was making no progress with Vettel, in fact, Vettel was pulling away...

Until the last corner.

As they came to the last corner, in traffic, was the red and white Toyota of Glock, floundering with his dry tires on. His tires had cooled with the water on the track and he just couldn't put the power down. Lewis blew by him to regain fifth and become world champion! Amazing!

I don't think that I have ever been so excited! You couldn't have scripted a better finish. Formula 1 is my favorite sport, but I may have to stop watching if the seasons keep ending like this... My heart just can't take it!

I get a kick of all the haters of Lewis. The dumbest thing I hear is, "He doesn't deserve it". Why not? He scored more points. Simple as that. We can debate if Massa is a better driver (cough, Silverstone, cough), 'til be are blue in the face. Lewis scored more points (even with the gift of five to Massa at Spa...). The people thinking Kubica deserves it more are nuts. To win the WC, you need to be a fantastic driver, AND have a great car. Kubica is a great driver, but at the end of the year, his car just wasn't there.

Then we get the people that thin Timo sandbagged to let Lewis by. Please. If Timo or Toyota was going to do that, they would have pitted at the same time as every other team did. Timo would've had to do the final lap five seconds faster than his more than capable teammate, in an identical car, with the same tires, in the same conditions, with the same fuel load. No, Vettel and Hamilton blew by him simply because the track was wet, they had wet tires, and Timo was on drys.

Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel would be my vote for most impressive at the end of the year. They were right there with the rest of the not-Ferrari-or-McLaren teams. I think that Vettel is going to be one of the greats when he is done.

Next year cannot come fast enough... The new aero, taking away a bunch of downforce and the new kinetic energy recovery system should make things really interesting. Will Honda get back in the hunt? Will Renault continue to improve? BMW? ...I don't know how I wil make it until March!!!


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